Update: This blog was updated by the Angular team on 2017-01-26 to reflect the latest naming standards.
At the 8th and 9th of December 2016 was NG-BE, Belgium’s first Angular conference. Igor Minar (Angular lead dev) attended as the keynote speaker with some interesting announcements regarding Angular’s release schedule. Please read the entire post, there are a couple of important things.
Igor was extremely open and transparent about the announcement and even about the way of presenting it. He basically created the presentation openly the day before the conference:
I'll be conducting a major open source experiment at @ngbeconf tonight at 10pm downstairs in the main room. Come if you want to participate.— Igor Minar (@IgorMinar) December 8, 2016
So here it is:
Why Angular 4?? Why even Angular 3?? What is going on?
the new Angular was finally released, the Angular team also announced they will switch to Semantic Versioning (SEMVER).
As the name already explains, Semantic Versioning is all about adding meaning to version numbers. This allows developers to not only reason about any upgrade we do, but we can even let tools such as NPM do it in a automatic and safe manner for us.
A semantic version consists of three numbers:
Whenever you fix a bug and release it, you increase the last number, if a new feature is added, you increase the second number and whenever you release a breaking change you increase the first number.
“A breaking change happens whenever you as a developer and consumer of a library, have to step in and adjust your code after a version upgrade.”So what does this mean for the Angular team? As with every evolving piece of software, breaking changes will occur at some point. For example, giving a compiler error for existing application bugs that went unnoticed with the previous compiler version, anything, that will break an existing application when upgrading Angular, requires the team to bump the major version number.
Just to be clear, as also Igor mentioned in his talk. Right now, even just upgrading Angular’s TypeScript dependency from v1.8 to v2.1 or v2.2 and compile Angular with it, would technically cause a breaking change. So they’re taking SEMVER very, very seriously.
there are upgrade options for you available)
Changing from version 2 to version 4, 5, … won’t be like changing from Angular 1. It won’t be a complete rewrite, it will simply be a change in some core libraries that demand a major SEMVER version change. Also, there will be proper deprecation phases to allow developers to adjust their code.
Internally at Google, the Angular team uses a tool for handling automatic upgrades, even of breaking changes. This is still something that has to be planned in more detail, but the team is working hard on making this tool generally available, most probably in 2017 in time for version 5.
“It’s just #angular”Also, we should start avoiding GitHub/NPM libraries prefixed with ng2- or angular2-.
@toddmotto @manekinekko @jdfwarrior @schwarty but please don't call projects ng2- or angular2-, etc.— Igor Minar (@IgorMinar) December 10, 2016
Three simple guidelines:
- Use “Angular” for versions 2.0.0 and later (e.g. “I’m an Angular developer”, “This is an Angular meetup”, “The Angular ecosystem is growing quickly”)
- Use "AngularJS" to describe versions 1.x or earlier
- Use the version number “Angular 4.0” "Angular 2.4" when needed to talk about a specific release (e.g. when talking about a newly introduced feature - “This is an introduction to feature X, introduced in Angular 4”, “I’m proposing this change for Angular 5”)
- Use full semver version when reporting a bug (e.g. “This issue is present as of Angular 2.3.1”)
“This article uses Angular v2.3.1.”That helps avoid confusion for your readers, especially when you are writing about specific APIs.
github.com/angular/angular. All of them are versioned the same way, but distributed as different NPM packages:
Due to this misalignment of the router package’s version, the team decided to go straight for Angular v4. In this way again, all the core packages are aligned which will be easier to maintain and help avoid confusion in the future.
Also it is important to understand how Angular is being used and integrated inside Google (Igor speaks about this here in his keynote). All Google applications use Angular version equal to the current GitHub’s master branch of the Angular repository. Whenever a new commit lands in master, it will be integrated into Google’s single, giant mono-repo, where also other products such as Maps, Adsense etc. live. As a consequence all of the projects using Angular internally at Google will run their extensive test suites against this new version. This makes the team very confident to cut a new release, since it will contain the exact combination of versions of Angular packages that have been already battle tested inside Google. Thus, having aligned versions totally makes sense and makes it easier to maintain them over time, which in turn helps the team be more productive in releasing new features.
committed to time based releases that occur in three cycles:
- patch releases every week,
- 3 monthly minor release after each major release and
- a major release with easy-to-migrate-over breaking changes every 6 months.
After Angular 4.0.0, this will be the tentative schedule for further releases:
- don’t worry about version numbers
- we do need to evolve Angular in order to avoid another Angular 1 to Angular 2 change, but we should do it together as a community in a transparent, predictable and incremental way.